Circ J. 2021 Jan 27. doi: 10.1253/circj.CJ-20-0373. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Although anticoagulation is the key treatment to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), including elderly patients, anticoagulation is sometimes withheld for elderly people because of concerns about frailty. However, it remains unknown whether frailty increases bleeding events.Methods and Results:A total of 120 consecutive non-valvular AF patients admitted with symptoms of AF or congestive heart failure were included in this study. Frailty was assessed using the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) frailty index. We performed a retrospective analysis of the risk factors associated with major bleeding events. After a median follow-up of 518 days, major bleeding events occurred in 17 (14.2%) patients. Patients with major bleeding events had a higher CHS frailty index (P=0.015). The cutoff value for high-risk CHS frailty index was 2 (area under the ROC curve: 0.68 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.57-0.78]). The event-free rates at 2 years were 97.6% (95% CI: 83.9-99.7) in patients with a CHS frailty index <2 and 59.6% (95% CI: 27.9-81.0) for those with a CHS frailty index ≥2 (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Frailty is associated with increased bleeding events related to anticoagulant therapy in patients previously hospitalized with AF. Greater care should be taken with patients with a CHS frailty index ≥2.